Reporting Cruelty/Neglect

Cruelty towards any animal is a crime in Pennsylvania. Penalties for animal cruelty can vary from summary to felony levels.

Pet owners must:

  • Provide sufficient food and clean water for an animal to maintain its body weight
  • Provide clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather, keep the animal dry, and be adequate to preserve the animals own body heat
  • Provide veterinary care if an animal is sick or injured

What Humane Police Officers Do:

  • Serve as Police Officers, with powers of arrest, sworn to enforce the cruelty laws under authority granted by State Statute 22 Pa.C.S.A. Chapter 37
  • Humane Officers investigate allegations of cruelty, neglect and animal fighting as defined under Title 18, Chapter 55, Subchapter B of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code
  • Rescue mistreated or abandoned animals
  • Prosecute animal abusers in court
  • Work diligently to assure the safety of the pets and people in the community
  • Educate pet owners on proper care of their animals and offer resources for help to retain pets

What Humane Society Police Officers Do Not Do:

  • In Pennsylvania, Humane Officers are not permitted to enforce dog laws concerning licensing, rabies, vaccinations, dangerous dogs, dog attacks, dog bites, barking complaints, nuisance violations and running-at-large issues. Please contact your local Animal Control (link to animal control page) or local police for any of these situations
  • Humane Officers are not permitted to enter private residences without permission or a search warrant – nor can they seize animals without proper cause
  • Humane Officers are not permitted to enforce any laws that involve theft. Custody conflicts regarding animals generally are civil in nature and must be addressed by an attorney
  • Humane Officers are not permitted to give out any legal advice – nor can they enforce any local ordinances involving animals


Make a Difference!

Your gift today will help save an animal’s life. We rely on donations from friends like you to rescue, shelter, and find homes for pets. Please be as generous as you can to help us give them the care they need and the love they deserve.


Care They Need.
Love They Deserve.


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